She's moody, but it's cool. I like it, even if I'm on the receiving end a lot of the time. According to her it's called being sensitive and I wouldn't know a thing about it but I reckon I know a lot, with having had her as my personal tutor all this time. You want a guide to girltown? Just ask Bella.
Tonight though, she didn't start off moody, or sensitive. We met up at the bar, as we often do, starting with a tequila shot as usual and then getting to the beers. While we were at it we munched our way through a fuckton of tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa.
The whole time we were inventing names and scenarios for other people in there, telling each other stories that got more and more outrageous, all the while interrupting each other and snorting with derision.
Normally, I drink more than she does. I mean, I'm way bigger. She's a bit short and a lot skinny. So my liver is mansize and hers is dollsize - right?
I kind of noticed but didn't, that tonight Bella was drinking as much as me. She got funnier and funnier, just like I did, until we were practically howling and crying with how hilarious we both were, and even clutching each other so we wouldn't fall right out of our chairs.
Then there was a break in the proceedings, both of us tired out from all the laughing, and needing a breather. Bella's gaze lighted on a couple sitting near us, who were all loved-up, and clearly about ready for some after-midnight action. They had their heads close together, mouths busy, hands on thighs, shoulders and waists, and closing in.
Bella turned to me, pushing her hair out of her eyes and poking me in the shoulder.
"They're putting on such a stupid display. Showing off. Make them stop."
"They're just kissing, but sure. Um. People - stop."
She rolled her eyes. "Well, that was pretty ineffectual. But they can keep going if they really have to, as long as they do it where I can't see them. Tell them to go away."
"It's not illegal to fondle and grope in a bar. How can I tell them to go away?"
"I hate them."
She didn't answer. In fact, she was quiet for a long while, staring into space, then checking back every now and again to frown at the couple, and frown at me. I didn't know what it was all about, but I was prepared to let it wash over me. Tequila and beer, music and mateship, perfect.
Except the mateship aspect of the evening was fixing me with a look that either meant nothing at all, or meant imminent disaster.
"Im going to ask you something and I want you to give me an honest answer."
Really, I should have taken notice of the warning signs - she was heavy-lidded and slurring. But I guess I didn't, so I was completely unprepared when she whined, "What's wrong with me?"
"Ah - nothing?"
"No, there's something. Am I really ugly?"
Well, fuck me dead. Even in my inebriated state, I knew there was no good way I could answer.
"You're just saying that."
"No, I'm not."
She wasn't ugly - at all! I mean - she sure had a lot of hair, and she pulled funny faces all the time and she never wore skirts or dresses, but she wasn't ugly. She was just Bella.
"You're a guy. You must know."
What I didn't know was where this was going.
"Why can't I get a date? Why aren't guys interested in me?"
Oh. Um. "Lots of guys are interested in you."
Oh. I'd never really thought about it, but now that she'd mentioned it, I'd never actually seen her with a guy. There was never a boyfriend. If I texted her and asked if she wanted to meet up, she was always available.
"There's too many for me to name."
One of Bella's many moods, or should I say attributes, is feisty. She doesn't take any shit. She certainly doesn't take any from me.
"That's garbage! You're full of it! You can't name one guy who would want to go out with me."
She smacked me on the arm, which was a bit like being hit by a canary, and then she smacked me again. Double canary attack.
"Edward - you're supposed to be my friend! Set me up with someone already! I haven't had a date in over a year! I haven't had sex for all that time!"
Tmi, Tmi, la la la, I can't hear you... She said what?
"Bells, come on, how is that possible? I don't date but I still have sex," I answered, head spinning. I mean, Bella and I have been hanging around together, for, like, ages, talking about nothing, swapping life stories and tall stories. We both live upstairs from this bar - in different apartments, I hasten to add. We covered all the majors early on - like politics, religion, favorite books and bands and movies... and along the way I might have mentioned some girl here or there, and I'm sure she's mentioned guys... But we were just two single people adrift on the ocean of life who connected often and shared how our days had been, and our weeks, and whether our bosses are idiots and our workmates were heroes or losers...
And shit - she hadn't been laid for over a year?
"All right then, Lovegod - perhaps you'd like to tell me how that works - you and the sex?" she asked, in a purring voice. It might have contained menace.
"Another drink?" I stalled, signalling the bartender.
Bella wasn't sidetracked. "Edward, you don't date, but you have sex. Let me see - there are a few possibilities. You're seeing a married woman, or you're visiting prostitutes, or you're having sixty-second hookups in the bathroom here - or what?"
We'd never actually broached this subject before, incredibly. I was extremely uncomfortable. None of her suggestions were true. It was just - sex never seemed to be too hard to find, that's all. Last weekend I'd been at a party and got talking to a pretty girl, and next thing I knew we'd found a bedroom upstairs with a door that locked and we'd gotten better acquainted. All at her prompting, I might add. Three weeks ago a delegation from interstate had visited the office I worked in, and there'd been after-work drinks, and then one of the PA's had assisted me personally, so to speak. A couple of weeks before that, there was this bridesmaid at a wedding I went to...
Bella seemed ready to pounce on whatever I said. It would probably be best if I didn't say anything.
"Look, just - I don't know, never mind. It's a subject for another time, I think," I mumbled. "Maybe we should go. Big day tomorrow."
I had no idea what she was doing tomorrow. I was spending the morning in bed with the papers and the remote, and then the afternoon doing laundry. As for the evening - I was visiting my parents. Chance of casual sex this weekend - less than nil. Which was fine.
But Bella wasn't giving up on the topic.
"Couldn't you at least tell me what you think the problem is? Is it my breasts? Are they too small? Guys like big breasts, don't they?"
And goddamn, my BFF put her hands to her chest, cupping her breasts and pushing them up, like she was offering them for me to lick.
Bella Swan went from drinking buddy to femme fatale in seconds flat.
She wasn't wearing a low-cut top, which incidentally she never did, so there was nothing to even see, but that wasn't the point. The way she held them, in invitation, just suddenly set off a jolt that nearly killed me stone dead. Exhibit A - the fully-clothed breasts of Bella Swan. Exhibit B - Edward Cullen, expired. Conclusion - the deceased met his end at the usage of the word "breasts" which he found arousing beyond measure, and at the extreme provocation meted out by a person he had previously considered a friend, and was now forced to view in a sexual light, thus leading to heart failure.
Oh, Jesus. I'd never given any thought to her breasts before. Really, they didn't stick out much, and she wore baggy clothes. It was quite easy to overlook that she had any. God, Bella - stop it! I'm a tit man, and the last fucking thing I need is to know is that besides my good friend being funny, and clever and sarcastic and maddening - she has those soft, squishy mounds on her chest that I could wrap my hands around, with protruding tips that I could suck into my mouth and play with... fuck! Fuck you, Bella! You've fucking ruined everything. I don't want to fucking know that you have tits. I don't want to fucking know that you're horny and you want sex. Because I'm a guy. With a dick. Now I will go to bed hard, and I'll never quite be able to look at you the same way again. And I liked having a friend who's a girl. Even if I conveniently overlooked the girl parts.
Thanks a bunch.
"I'm going home," I said abruptly. Turned on, and thoroughly pissed.
said I'd post my ramblings...did I mean ravings?...